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North Korea denies three million doses of Chinese vaccines

North Korea denies three million doses of Chinese vaccines

North Korea says no to its powerful neighbor. Pyongyang has refused some three million doses of Chinese vaccine against Covid-19, proposing that they be offered to countries that are more in need, Unicef ​​said Thursday.

The North Korean regime, whose health system is notoriously failing, was one of the first countries in the world to close its borders in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus which appeared in its Chinese neighbor.

A lead economy

Since then, Pyongyang has always maintained that the Covid-19 epidemic did not arrive on its soil, which many experts doubt. This isolation weighs heavily on its economy, already weighed down by multiple international sanctions imposed in response to its banned military programs.

In June, leader Kim Jong-un admitted that the country was facing a “tense food situation”.

Pyongyang “will continue to communicate” with Covax

North Korea, however, told Unicef, which distributes doses under Covax, the sharing system for poor countries, that vaccines made in China could be offered to other countries, the agency said. United Nations.

The North Korean Ministry of Health has “let us know that the 2.97 million doses of Sinovac donated to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) by Covax could be sent to severely affected countries, given the limited global supply of Covid-19 vaccines and the recurring upsurge in some countries, ”a UNICEF spokesperson told AFP. Pyongyang “will continue to communicate” with Covax “to receive the Covid-19 vaccines in the coming months”.

The country has already refused AstraZeneca vaccines

In July, a South Korean think tank affiliated with the country’s spy agency claimed that Pyongyang had rejected AstraZeneca vaccines offered through Covax, citing concerns about its side effects.

The Institute for National Security Strategy added that Pyongyang did not have a sufficiently developed cold chain to store Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and that the regime was skeptical about the effectiveness of Chinese vaccines.

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